McAfee Threats Report

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Full Title of Reference

McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2010

Full Citation

McAfee, Inc., McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2010 (2010). Online Paper. Web



Key Words

Antivirus, Botnet, Computer Network Attack, Cyber Crime, Hacker, Hacktivism, Malware, Phishing, Scareware, SPAM, Trojan, Zero-Day Vulnerability


Key Findings:

  • The proliferation of remote devices makes it harder to defend corporate networks. But the gadgets are not going away. IT staffers need to expand security wherever their users go.
  • Recent tragedies continue to attract scammers. Earthquakes and other disasters are money-making opportunities for cybercriminals.
  • After a decline and spike in 2009, spam volume has returned to mid-2008 levels. Drawing data from our worldwide spam collectors, we illustrate which spam topics are most popular in 34 countries.
  • Malware growth seems to be leveling off or declining in some areas, but the cumulative numbers are still immense. We anticipate cataloging at least as much malware this year as in 2009.
  • Operation Aurora is one of the most important targeted attacks in Internet history. Aurora may have a significant impact for years to come on the perception of corporate-focused cybercrime.
  • Spring means tax time, and tax-services scams play along. Some look convincingly like legitimate banks and national tax agencies.
  • Manipulating search results can bring cybercriminals revenues from fake security software, as well as advertising income from click fraud.
  • The Zeus family, the the preeminent password stealing Trojan malware, is just one of the key tools of cybercriminals, who often tie password stealers with other types of illegal online material such as pornography and fake security software. The prime target for these attacks? Facebook users.
  • Almost all URLs rated as malicious by McAfee’s TrustedSource Technology are located in the United States. Malware distributors love to use Web 2.0 features, which abound in this country.
  • The most popular attacks on clients—including Operation Aurora—targeted Microsoft Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader and Acrobat.
  • The justice system caught up with several cybercriminals, in cases ranging from the theft of credit card numbers to the illegal purchase and sale of concert and sports tickets.
  • One of the most popular types of cybercrime is scareware, or fake security software. Installed invisibly, these scams convince users that their systems are infected and they must immediately purchase a tool to remove it. Scareware developers earn a phenomenal amount of money from their victims.
  • Political hactivism continues: Hackers interrupted service or defaced websites at a Russian magazine, the Latvian tax agency, and the Australian government

Additional Notes and Highlights

Expertise required: None

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